Peugeot 207 GTi THP 175 2007 Review

Peugeot 207 GTi THP 175 2007 Review

Peugeot 207 GTI THP 2007 fq

In 1984 Peugeot launched the 205 GTi. It was car that perfectly suited young people in a rush. Entering into the world in ‘The Greed Decade’, the young and upwardly mobile had disposable income and wanted a car that was exciting yet practical. The 207 GTi is the latest hot hatch from Peugeot, and as there are no plans for a 207GTI180 (which would succeed the 206GTi180), it’s the most powerful 207 in the range with 128kW at 6000rpm and 240Nm of torque at 1600rpm.

In a similar vein to the Golf TSi I reviewed a couple of weeks ago Peugeot’s 207 GTi THP 175 (to give it its rather excessive moniker) has taken a cut in engine size from the usual 2-litre mill and instead has a small turbo to assist the 1.6-litre in the horsepower and torque department. It does this exceptionally well. Having owned a 206GTi180, I was surprised to find the 207 GTi feels as quick (around seven seconds to 100kph), and probably handles better. The torque pulls you out of tight corners with ease (even if with a little torque steer from the front wheel drive as the traction control attempts to match the friction available. Extremely firm suspension means minimal body roll and facilitates some exhilarating g-forces on the right roads, but it will be too hard for some tastes.

This three-door model has two very long and heavy side doors, care with which are required when in a tight parking space. They open wide to allow access to the back with the front seats tipped forward, but it’s by no means an easy entry for anyone bigger than a child to get to the two sculpted rear passenger seats.

Clamber into the front and you’ll notice the racing-style shoulder wings and lateral support of these deep bucket seats that embrace you like a sausage in a hotdog, but the seating position doesn’t quite cut the mustard. A tall driver will need to fiddle around a bit with the seating position to get the right setting between best legroom and best distance to the steering wheel.

Dual climate control air conditioning extends to the glovebox. Above the climate control dials is a 6-CD in-dash stereo. Controls for this, and the cruise control/speed limiter are located on stubby wands on the steering column. A photo chromatic rear view mirror,  automatic lights, wipers and wing mirrors that fold in when you turn the engine off are also included as standard.

I like every part of the styling of the 207 except for the slight overhang on the nose. It’s bulging in the right places, and from the back, its twin exhausts and roof-mounted spoiler leave a driver in no doubt that what just overtook them has some beans under the bonnet. Look carefully on the bumper and you’ll notice reversing sensors — new for the 207 — linked to a display on the dashboard representing where any obstacles are. Seventeen-inch alloy wheels conceal ventilated disk brakes and single-pot callipers.

On the inside, drilled sports pedals complement the chunky steering wheel and gripping seats. Chrome-ringed dials add the finishing touches to a sporty cabin and an aluminium-topped gearknob with leather boot.

The Peugeot has a 5-speed gearbox, while you would expect that it would have six like its rival the Mini Cooper S. But I had this conversation with them about the 206GTi180 when I bought that: Peugeot does not think a six speed is necessary with the right gearing, it’s more expensive, and it means the car dimensions and layout have to be changed because the gearbox is longer.

The new Peugeot 207 GTi has more safety features than the 206. Four seatbelt lights let you know if your passengers are buckled up. Turn to the right and the directional headlights turn on an additional bulb that illuminates further to the right of the road. The 207 GTi comes with an enormous number of acronyms to assist your safety: the usual ABS with EBD (electronic brake force distribution) and EBA (emergency brake assist), electronic stability program (with traction control) and a fuel cut-off inertia switch. What these acronyms do is take over the car to an extent when they think an overenthusiastic driver is about to get to 101% of their limits.

SSP, which appears for the first time for Peugeot on the 207, works with ESP and the steering wheel. The steering rack has a small motor attached. If you brake while the car straddles two surface, one less grippy than the other (e.g. one side on tarmac, the other on gravel), what usually happens is that the ABS turns off on the less grippy side to stop the wheels from skidding. This means that the other wheels are doing all the braking and the car tends to pull in the direction of those wheels. SSP counter steers into this to make it easier to brake in a straight line, and the net result is a 4-10% reduction in stopping distance on uneven surfaces. You can override it by turning the steering wheel, and of course, you can override all of them with one switch, and feel the car in its raw state.

It’s not really a car that goes in for passenger comfort. It’s a driver’s car that you can have a lot of fun with through twisty, hilly passes. The light steering allows quick changes of direction to the car without straining your deltoids, and the seats grip your torso preventing you from ending up on your passenger’s lap. It’s great fun, if you’re a solo driver.

Price: from $37,990

What we like

  • Handling
  • Performance
  • Styling (except for the nose overhang)
  • Lots of acronyms and a 5-star crash rating

What we don’t like

  • Impractical load space
  • Super-firm suspension not to everyone’s taste
  • Heavy doors have a tendency to swing wide without warning on opening

Words and photos Darren Cottingham

Peugeot 207 GTI THP 2007 fq

In 1984 Peugeot launched the 205 GTi. It was car that perfectly suited young people in a rush. Entering into the world in ‘The Greed Decade’, the young and upwardly mobile had disposable income and wanted a car that was exciting yet practical. The 207 GTi is the latest hot hatch from Peugeot, and as there are no plans for a 207GTI180 (which would succeed the 206GTi180), it’s the most powerful 207 in the range with 128kW at 6000rpm and 240Nm of torque at 1600rpm.

In a similar vein to the Golf TSi I reviewed a couple of weeks ago Peugeot’s 207 GTi THP 175 (to give it its rather excessive moniker) has taken a cut in engine size from the usual 2-litre mill and instead has a small turbo to assist the 1.6-litre in the horsepower and torque department. It does this exceptionally well. Having owned a 206GTi180, I was surprised to find the 207 GTi feels as quick (around seven seconds to 100kph), and probably handles better. The torque pulls you out of tight corners with ease (even if with a little torque steer from the front wheel drive as the traction control attempts to match the friction available. Extremely firm suspension means minimal body roll and facilitates some exhilarating g-forces on the right roads, but it will be too hard for some tastes.

This three-door model has two very long and heavy side doors, care with which are required when in a tight parking space. They open wide to allow access to the back with the front seats tipped forward, but it’s by no means an easy entry for anyone bigger than a child to get to the two sculpted rear passenger seats.

Clamber into the front and you’ll notice the racing-style shoulder wings and lateral support of these deep bucket seats that embrace you like a sausage in a hotdog, but the seating position doesn’t quite cut the mustard. A tall driver will need to fiddle around a bit with the seating position to get the right setting between best legroom and best distance to the steering wheel.

Dual climate control air conditioning extends to the glovebox. Above the climate control dials is a 6-CD in-dash stereo. Controls for this, and the cruise control/speed limiter are located on stubby wands on the steering column. A photo chromatic rear view mirror,  automatic lights, wipers and wing mirrors that fold in when you turn the engine off are also included as standard.

I like every part of the styling of the 207 except for the slight overhang on the nose. It’s bulging in the right places, and from the back, its twin exhausts and roof-mounted spoiler leave a driver in no doubt that what just overtook them has some beans under the bonnet. Look carefully on the bumper and you’ll notice reversing sensors — new for the 207 — linked to a display on the dashboard representing where any obstacles are. Seventeen-inch alloy wheels conceal ventilated disk brakes and single-pot callipers.

On the inside, drilled sports pedals complement the chunky steering wheel and gripping seats. Chrome-ringed dials add the finishing touches to a sporty cabin and an aluminium-topped gearknob with leather boot.

The Peugeot has a 5-speed gearbox, while you would expect that it would have six like its rival the Mini Cooper S. But I had this conversation with them about the 206GTi180 when I bought that: Peugeot does not think a six speed is necessary with the right gearing, it’s more expensive, and it means the car dimensions and layout have to be changed because the gearbox is longer.

The new Peugeot 207 GTi has more safety features than the 206. Four seatbelt lights let you know if your passengers are buckled up. Turn to the right and the directional headlights turn on an additional bulb that illuminates further to the right of the road. The 207 GTi comes with an enormous number of acronyms to assist your safety: the usual ABS with EBD (electronic brake force distribution) and EBA (emergency brake assist), electronic stability program (with traction control) and a fuel cut-off inertia switch. What these acronyms do is take over the car to an extent when they think an overenthusiastic driver is about to get to 101% of their limits.

SSP, which appears for the first time for Peugeot on the 207, works with ESP and the steering wheel. The steering rack has a small motor attached. If you brake while the car straddles two surface, one less grippy than the other (e.g. one side on tarmac, the other on gravel), what usually happens is that the ABS turns off on the less grippy side to stop the wheels from skidding. This means that the other wheels are doing all the braking and the car tends to pull in the direction of those wheels. SSP counter steers into this to make it easier to brake in a straight line, and the net result is a 4-10% reduction in stopping distance on uneven surfaces. You can override it by turning the steering wheel, and of course, you can override all of them with one switch, and feel the car in its raw state.

It’s not really a car that goes in for passenger comfort. It’s a driver’s car that you can have a lot of fun with through twisty, hilly passes. The light steering allows quick changes of direction to the car without straining your deltoids, and the seats grip your torso preventing you from ending up on your passenger’s lap. It’s great fun, if you’re a solo driver.

Price: from $37,990

What we like

  • Handling
  • Performance
  • Styling (except for the nose overhang)
  • Lots of acronyms and a 5-star crash rating

What we don’t like

  • Impractical load space
  • Super-firm suspension not to everyone’s taste
  • Heavy doors have a tendency to swing wide without warning on opening

Words and photos Darren Cottingham

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